Mountain Rescue England and Wales, National Training Day, Plas-Y-Brenin, North Wales

Organised and facilitated for the second year running by our national body, Mountain Rescue England and Wales, this years national training day was held at the excellent facilities of the National Mountaineering Centre, Plas-Y-Brenin, Capel Curig, North Wales.

With over 100x attendees from throughout mountain rescue in England and Wales, those attending had a wide variety of workshops to attend, including Equipment, Medical, Water Rescue, Technical Rope Rescue, Vehicles and Driving, IT and Technology.

Bolton Mountain Rescue Team members David Crawford and Paul Copley attended this years Training Day, and a more detailed account of their day follows.

“On Saturday 5th May, Team Call out members Paul Copley and David Crawford attended the MREW National Training Day held at Plas Y Brenin National Mountaineering Centre at Capel Curig in the heart of Snowdonia. There were some 150 people attending from about 20 different teams and organisations.

We were welcomed by Mike Margeson, the national Training Officer, and then divided into our workshop groups for the morning sessions. The choice on offer was: Equipment, Medical, Vehicles and Driving, Water Rescue, Technical Rope Rescue and IT and Technology. We chose the Medical Workshop, excellently led by Dr John Ellerton the, shortly to retire, national Medical Officer. After a discussion on the supply of (medical!) drugs used by the teams, we moved outdoors to deal with four casualties (one of whom was Paul) all with a lower leg injury, but using four different types of splint (including an improvised rucksack) and four different types of analgesics. The ensuing discussion on the relative pros and cons was informative and stimulating. We also covered C-spine injury assessment and wrapped a hypothermic ‘casualty’ in a foil bag like a stuffed chicken about to go into the oven!

Lunch was taken inside the impressive facilities at Plas Y Brenin before we joined our groups for the afternoon workshops. This time we attended the Technical Rope Rescue session, ably led by members of the Ogwen Valley MRO. We dealt in detail with the necessary measures to safely lower a person down a rock face to rescue a casualty and then haul the person back up using an intricate series of pulleys to increase purchase. The emphasis was on a thorough analysis of risks and compliance with the national safety guidelines. The tutors impressed with their in-depth knowledge of the subject and ability to impart it in clear terms.

We returned to the centre from a chilly mountainside for a warming cup of tea before departing for home along the North Wales coastline. Paul and David would like to thank everyone involved in organising and running the most worthwhile day.”